Mini review of the LiitoKala Lii-400

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ferongr
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Mini review of the LiitoKala Lii-400

The Liitokala Lii-400 is a 4-bay charger that can charge 3.6/3.7V LiIon and NiMh cells. It has four charge current settings, (300, 500, 700 and 1000 mA), can charge 4 cells at 1 amp at the same time and has a display that shows the status of all batteries at the same time. Mine came with a 110-240V universal adapter with a NEMA (US) plug that I use with a NEMA to europlug adapter.

First impressions is that the charger is light for its size. The sliding negatives move extremely smoothly (more smoothly than the sliders of my VP1) and the display is clear and has ample viewing angle. Inserting cells into the charger is very easy, though due to the high ledge on the positive side, hard to remove the two central ones when the charger is fully loaded. The button is tactile and is easy to press.

The included mains adapter seems to lack inrush current limiting and sparked the socket when I first tried to plug it in. Also included is a 12V car adapter that’s completely passive (shouldn’t be used with 24V outlets) and has a fuse.

Operating the charger is easy, when powered, the button turns on the backlight when pressed momentarily, and switches between the available charge current levels when pressed and held. When not connected to AC, the button enables the USB output.

Charging is fast, the device maintains 1 amp output even with 4 cells charging at the same time and my article terminates LiIon at around 4.195V. Even with 4 cells charging at maximum current, the charger and the cells themselves do not get unacceptably hot. I logged the voltage and everything seems normal, due to the high connection resistance of the aluminum foil I used to tap the positive pole, the discrepancy between the multimeter’s and the charger’s measurement was around 0.15V at 1 amp. Normally it’s between 0.02 and 0.05V depending on current set. The curve below is not ideal due the foil’s resistance and I omitted logging current, since the voltage drop due to the burden voltage of my DMM was unacceptable (0.2-0.22V discrepancy).

Cell charged in the graph is a Samsung 25R with around 150 cycles of gentle usage (discharged between 5 and 7 amps). The spike in the graph is due to me hitting the charger with my elbow. Also, my LibreOffice-fu is weak so I couldn’t convert timestamps to duration in minutes, so the X axis is unlabelled, but the time from the start of the graph (and the charge) to the blue line that signifies completed charge is 195 minutes so the charger charges batteries quickly.

I charged two brand new LG 18650 HG2 cells with the same batch number, one in the Lii-400 and one in the VP1 and discharged them with the ZB2L3 constant resistance battery tester, 1.5 Ohm load and discharge termination voltage of 3V. The cell charged in the VP1 discharged 2835 mAh and the cell charged in the Lii-400 discharged 2870mAh so the charger does fill LiIon cells.

I intend to log the charging voltage of a AAA NiMh tomorrow, though I predict it will be a voltage-terminated algorithm like the Lii-500.

My closing thoughts: I wanted a 4bay charger with a display that shows all cells at the same time that could do 4×1 amp charging. Due to the very positive review of the Lii-500 by HJK, I decided to go with the Lii-400. I was not dissapointed. The charger charges LiIons very well acccording to my basic testing. It cost me $24 and it doesn’t look like it has any quirks. I’m personally very satisfied and would recommend it.

Edited by: ferongr on 01/18/2016 - 05:48
hammerJoe
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I read somewhere that the latest revision of the Lii-500 uses dv/dt for nimh and not just voltage for termination.

MRsDNF
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Thanks ferongr. Have you the single bay version?

 

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ferongr
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No, I don’t really have any need for it.

thomashf
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Why did you buy a 400 for $24 when you could get a 500 for the same price?
http://www.gearbest.com/chargers/pp_228909.html
Are there any additional advantages the 400 has over the 500?
Thanks!

ferongr
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The 500 only shows a single battery slot on the screen and doesn’t do any kind of scrolling between slots. For me that’s a big negative.

thomashf
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I see, thanks for the review.

ferongr
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Charging Panasonic Eneloop BK-3MCC at 1 amp. Looks like -dV termination. 140 minutes till charging end, relatively fast termination after voltage started dropping (~15 minutes). Noticable temperature increase but not too much (I just touched the battery, didn’t have a probe handy).

ferongr
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A few more charts of NiMH charging.

Panasonic Eneloop BK-3MCC AA charged at 1 amp. This is the different cell than the previous one. Total charging time of 141 minutes. Extremely fast -dV termination 5 minutes after peak voltage was achieved.

Toshiba TNH-03AC. A cheap AAA NiMH with 750mAh capacity, non-LSD type. Charged at 500mAh Total charge time, 144 minutes. Took almost 50 minutes to terminate. Possible issue could be the unstable conductivity of the aluminum foil I used to tap the voltage of the positive pole. Small temperature raise (felt with my fingers).

Again the same model Toshiba cell, only a different cell. Total charge time, 138 minutes. Charger took 35 minutes to terminate it. It’s possible that the Toshiba cells would terminate quicker at 700mAh (and that wouldn’t be a bad charging rate for cell with a nominal capacity of 750mAh).

I’m really surprised with how this charged handles NiMHs and am very happy with the performance. I would recommend this charger as a general purpose charger for 3.7V LiIons and NiMHs.

myhken
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Are I’m correct when I’m pretty sure Lii 400 only charges batteries, but Lii 500 can be used for refresh/discharging test etc? (I have several Lii500 chargers my self, but no Lii400.

Kenneth Myhre

ferongr
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Yes, the Lii-400 has no discharge capability.

Overclocker
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can you have different charge rates on different slots?

ferongr
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No, the same charge rate is used for all slots. Not an issue for me since 99% of the time I’m charging 18650s and NiMH AAs, so 1 amp is fine.

Overclocker
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ferongr wrote:
No, the same charge rate is used for all slots. Not an issue for me since 99% of the time I’m charging 18650s and NiMH AAs, so 1 amp is fine.

thanks. that’s what i figured. coz there’s no way to select the slot w/ just one button

i guess it’s a simpler model for people who don’t wanna mess around w/ lots of buttons.